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Baker & McKenzie has overhauled its global remuneration system, rewarding partners who focus on major international clients with an additional slug of money.
The firm has introduced more credit for partners who perform well on client management, one of the global firm’s core areas of focus.
That focus was underlined earlier this year by chairman Eduardo Leite who, in an interview with The Lawyer, said that “being a client-centric firm is our top strategic priority”. Bakers has now decided to back that with cash for partners who do a good job looking after clients.
“Clients are globalising and you need to be very focused on managing them well,” said Bakers’ London managing partner Gary Senior. “We’re responding to that with a marginal, incremental increase in the weighting of remuneration allocated to partners who do a particularly good job with client management.”
Senior downplayed the change as a “tweak”, describing it as part of a trend stretching back more than a decade.
“Our global remuneration system has evolved over years and changes don’t tend to be revolutionary,” he said. “The trend at the firm has been towards more integration and one of the obvious things to gather around is clients.”
The changes to Bakers’ remuneration system coincide with the ending of the firm’s financial year on 30 June. Bakers’ 2010-11 results are not yet available but London profitability is expected to show a slight decline compared with last year’s £650,000.